Cyprus is seeking more European funds under the EU’s next budget for the period 2021-2027 to address a number of challenges arising from being a small island state on the bloc’s periphery, Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides said on Monday.
The minister was speaking after meeting with the EU Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources, Guenter Oettinger in Nicosia who said the request would be examined.
The next multiannual financial framework (MFF) for the period 2021-2027 and the need to reach an agreement between member states by the end of the year were at the centre of the meeting.
“I do not see any fundamental differences, I am willing to help with some of the files that are relevant to Cyprus, but I do not see any major differences and I am pleased that Cyprus broadly supports the commission’s proposal and supports the timetable for a final decision before the end of the year,” Oettinger said in his statements.
The German commissioner also said that Cyprus broadly supported the formula presented by the commission for increased contributions while simultaneously reducing programmes to fill the gap of the UK contribution due to Brexit.
Christodoulides said that Cyprus strongly argued in favour of reaching an agreement on the community budget by the end of the year on the basis of the conclusions of last June’s European Council.
“We are of the opinion that any delay could adversely affect the timely launch of programmes and projects, sending the wrong message about Europe’s ability to deliver on time,” he said.
Christodoulides said the government had requested from both the commission and the Finnish presidency, additional assistance through the new multiannual framework.
“This request stems from and reflects the unique challenges facing Cyprus due to a combination of factors, in particular the small size of the country’s territory, the fact that unlike most partners, Cyprus is an island state located on the periphery of the union,” he said.